Getting The Most From Your Google My Business

January 24th, 2019 by Colin Crumbley


Two business owners making edits to their Google My Business listing as instructed by Search Influence in New Orleans, LA

When was the last time you went to the second page of Google search? If you find yourself having difficulty remembering the answer to that question, you are not alone. Research shows that as of November 2018, the top 10 results of Google searches that make up the first page are responsible for 75 percent of all clicks on search engine results pages (SERPS). As a business owner, you may now be asking yourself the question, “How do I get my business on the first page of Google?” Google’s ranking is determined by a multitude of factors, two of them being the accuracy of your company’s Google My Business (GMB) listing and the volume of interaction associated with it. For many people making local searches on Google, your GMB listing is the first contact that they make with your business, so you want to make sure what they see is accurate and thorough.

Claim or Create Your GMB Listing

The step that precedes all others for your GMB listing is claiming or creating it. The age of your business and the volume of information that has previously been supplied about it on the internet will determine which step you need to take. If Google has already collected information regarding your business, you will need to simply claim the listing. If Google has not previously collected information regarding your business, you will need to create a listing. Either way, to begin the process, start here. The first and most important step in getting the most from an already-existing GMB listing is claiming it. Until you have achieved this end, the content of your listing is at the mercy of the internet. Any Google user can suggest edits on a GMB profile, which may become live. Because some of the data in GMB listings is user-generated, it is not always entirely accurate. Once you have claimed your business, you are in complete control of the information that is live on your listing.

Example of Google My Business listing from Search Influence in New Orleans, LA

Give Your GMB Listing the Data It Deserves

Now that you are in control of your GMB listing, it’s time to start making it as accurate and informative as possible. Initially, you will want to make sure that all of the essential information, such as your name, address, phone number, website, and hours of operation are correct across all of the other platforms that show your business’s information, such as Yelp. Selecting the correct category is also pertinent to your ranking in local searches. Don’t just choose the general category; choose as many subcategories as you find relevant and appropriate to your business. Additionally, a solid business description can help you stand out against your competitors. A good business description is one that attempts to cover all of the products or services that you offer, but that does so in a summarizing manner. You want the viewers of your listing to read the entire description, so say as much as you can in as few words as possible.  

Review, Respond, and Post On Your GMB Listing

At this point your GMB listing is in your control and displaying accurate and additional information; from here you will want to maintain it. Google publicly acknowledges that user interaction for business listings is a factor that affects its rankings. One way to satisfy this is by making frequent posts regarding updates affecting your business, or about products and services that your business offers. These posts are a free form of advertising that appears in local searches, and the more frequently you post, the more likely you are to get a boost in your rankings. Not everyone who uses the internet is on social media, but everyone who finds you in a local search can see your posts. So with that being said, a good rule of thumb is to make a GMB post every time you make a post on social media, or at least once a week. Additionally, these posts are a good way to increase traffic to your website by informing users of a product or service that they might not have realized your business offers.

Another way that you should maintain your GMB listing is by responding to reviews about your business posted by other Google users. This is not only important from an SEO standpoint, but also from the viewpoint of the users who view your listing. Negative reviews should absolutely be given responses, as that is your only opportunity to defend your business to the users viewing your listing. Customers want to feel engaged, and a business that positively engages the customer is more likely to see that customer return and refer others.

Because Google My Business is still relatively new, many people don’t understand the impact it can have on local rankings. If you’re ready to boost your local SEO with an optimized Google My Business listing and relevant posts, get in touch with one of the marketing experts at Search Influence today.